As hard as it may be to believe, some conservatives actually seem to have the callousness and lack of decency to poke fun at the “BringBackOurGirls” Twitter hashtag campaign. In their eyes, the effort to shine the hot lights on the kidnapping of 276 Nigerian schoolgirls by the Islamist group Boko Haram is just a waste of time.
It started on Thursday, just hours after Michelle Obama tweeted a picture of herself holding a “BringBackOurGirls” sign. On CNN’s “Legal View,” Will Cain of TheBlaze harrumphed that the campaign was just “cheap hashtag activism.” CNN’s Don Lemon hit the ceiling and demanded to know what Cain was actually doing to help bring attention to the girls’ plight. Lemon was undoubtedly saying the same thing anyone with a shred of decency would have said–but apparently that was lost on frequent Rush Limbaugh guest host Mark Steyn, who claimed that the First Lady was joining her fellow liberals in a campaign of “moral preening” rather than actually doing something to bring the girls back safe and sound.
A few hours later, Jim “Gateway Pundit” Hoft got in on the act, saying that all of that librul outrage wasn’t enough to keep the girls from being packed off to Chad. Even some Republican lawmakers have gotten in on the act. On today’s edition of “Face The Nation,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers claimed that the White House was relying too much on “what’s trending on Twitter” to conduct foreign policy.
But as usual, the facts don’t match up with the right-wing outrage. #BringBackOurGirls isn’t a product of left-wing activists. According to Time, it is a classic grassroots campaign from ordinary people that went severely viral. On April 23, several of the girls’ parents and local children’s rights activists finally got fed up with what they saw as inaction from Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan and the Nigerian government. They thought of the hashtag as a way to raise awareness of the kidnappings. Within days of the hashtag first being used, it was picked up across Africa. By the end of April, it was picked up in the West and really took off, ballooning to 2 million mentions. And it’s already had results–within seven days of the West becoming more aware of the story, Jonathan was forced to commit more resources to the search, as well as accept international help that he’d previously turned down.
Given these facts, I’d like to know–would Cain, Hoft and Rogers still be willing to say with a straight face that this hashtag campaign didn’t get results? And would they also be willing to say that to the faces of the Nigerian parents who actually started it?
edited by tw